Travel News: July 28, 2016

Avignon France

Tourists in France ‘to get armed guards’ as backpacks banned from beaches amid bomb fears

Armed police and soldiers will be deployed to protect holidaymakers visiting France this summer amid fears terrorists could try to strike the tourist industry.

Britons visiting the country will see increased security at beaches, festivals and fairs as well as at stations and airports.

The extra protection comes after intelligence agencies expressed concern that Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) terrorists could make tourists their next target, The Times reported.


New Law Will Make Airlines Refund Baggage Fees When Bags Are Delayed

You’ve been there. You’re sitting at an airport in one state, while your luggage is stranded at an airport in another after it failed to make its connecting flight. You desperately need a fresh change of clothes and yet, it’s unclear when you’ll be reunited with your belongings. This, after you paid the airline to check that bag and have it arrive when you arrive.

According to a new measure signed into law this month [PDF], you’ll get that money back: airlines will be required to “promptly provide to a passenger an automated refund for any ancillary fees paid by the passenger for checked baggage” if the bag isn’t delivered to the passenger within 12 hours of the arrival of their domestic flight, or within 15 hours of an international flight.

To get the refund, you’ll have to notify the airline of the lost or delayed baggage.


Travelers Are Embracing Human Travel Agents Again

Over the last decade, the rise of online travel agencies has made it easier than ever to book a trip. Their appeal is obvious: Expedia, Priceline, and other do-it-yourself booking sites have swapped out living, breathing travel agents — who possess such human failings as incomplete knowledge, opaque allegiances, and inconvenient business hours — for something more algorithmically determined, along with the illusion of total choice and the very best deals.

And yet what’s old is becoming new again.

Last month, travel marketing firm MMGY Global released its annual Portrait of American Travelers survey. The survey found that 32% of travelers now visit direct provider websites (i.e., American Airlines or Hilton Hotels) when making reservations — up 6% from 2015, and virtually even with the percentage of travelers who turn to online travel agencies when booking travel. Meanwhile, travelers are increasingly browsing booking sites during the planning phase of a vacation before turning to sites to actually book reservations.


United Airlines May Be Poised to Drop One of Its Hubs
The Motley Fool

There’s a growing contradiction at United Continental (NYSE:UAL).

On the one hand, the United Airlines parent company has maintained its commitment to capacity discipline. In the face of weak unit revenue trends, United is holding domestic capacity growth below 2% this year. On the other hand, the company admitted last month that domestic capacity cuts have caused United to lose market share in its hubs over the past five years. It believes this has hurt its unit revenue.

This puts CEO Oscar Munoz and his management team in a bind. If United Airlines increases its domestic growth rate, it will worsen the current capacity glut, especially if it provokes a response from any of United’s competitors. That would almost certainly drive unit revenue down even further. But if it does nothing, United’s market share in its hubs will continue to languish.

There may be only one way out of this dilemma: downsizing or eliminating one or more of United’s remaining hubs.

By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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